Go Ahead ... Make Their Day from Collection Drives to Visiting the Elderly, Volunteers Have an Opportunity to Do Some Good

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Byline: Lisa Friedman Miner, Hilary Shenfeld and Stacey Cara Cohen Daily Herald Staff Writers

One day.

That's all it takes to change a small part of your life, your community, your world.

This Saturday, Oct. 25, is the seventh annual Make A Difference Day, a national day of good deeds sponsored by USA Weekend magazine and Points of Light Foundation.

People across the country will be volunteering their time to clean up cities, stock canned goods for food pantries, collect winter coats for the homeless, help build houses, tutor children, do chores for elderly people and much more.

More than 1 million people are expected this year to volunteer. Locally, there are roughly 115 projects planned for Make A Difference Day, the largest community service effort in the nation.

USA Weekend and Newman's Own Inc. will honor a number of projects nationwide and award $130,000 that will be donated to charities selected by the honorees. Send the coupon inside this section to USA Weekend to be eligible for an award and to notify the magazine about what was achieved.

The Daily Herald will pick a separate local winner and contribute $500 to the charitable organization that benefited from the project. Awards will be announced next April.

Following is a list of good works local people will be doing on Saturday. It's not too late for you to make a difference. Come up with your own project or scan the listings and join a project already in the works. And see what a difference a day can make.

Arlington Heights

- The boys in Windsor School's Cub Scout Pack 132 will be hitting the road as part of a walk-a-thon to raise money for the Arlington Heights Teen Center. The Scouts, ages 7 to 10, will collect pledges for their three-mile hike. For details, call project coordinators Marianne Ahlman, (847) 255-3982, or Chris Haddad, (847) 870-8120.

- The Children at Play program at Riley School, 1209 E. Burr Oak Drive, will be collecting nonperishable food for a local food pantry. They will deliver the donations on Saturday. For details, call Barbara Hoeft, (847) 501-9932.

- Paper murals and posters will brighten the hallways of hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers thanks to the efforts of children and parents in the English as a Second Language program in High School District 214. The murals were created on long strips of paper throughout October by participants in the district's family literacy program and they will be delivered on Saturday. A food drive is also planned. For information, call coordinator Gloria Casper, (847) 718-7729.

- Members of Southminster Presbyterian Church are pitching in to work on a Habitat for Humanity home under construction in Waukegan. Volunteers should meet at the church, 916 E. Central, Arlington Heights, at 7:45 a.m. Work will continue until 4 p.m. at the site. For information, call Nancy Lynch at (847) 392-0721.

- Wheeling Township once again hosts a drive to provide food and other items to 22 local PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) sites in the suburbs. Requested items include nonperishable food products, paper goods, personal-care items and new socks, underwear, hats and gloves. Donations should be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. today at the township office, 1616 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights; distribution will take place on Make A Difference Day. For information, or to volunteer to sort and box items, call JoAnne Schultz at (847) 259-7730.

- Coldwell Banker Real Estate will be collecting coats and other cold-weather items to benefit Chicago homeless shelters. Donations of coats, boots, gloves, sweaters, scarves and sweatshirts are requested. Items can be dropped off at 2120 E. Northwest Hwy. from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. over the weekend. The drive wraps up Monday. For details, call Nancy Duffy at (847) 392-6800. …